Don's Fly Tying - the Bright Damsel Nymph

[Bright Damsel]

Some years ago I took my boys and a couple of visiting nephews from Edmonton to Hyas Lake just an hour or so north east of Kamloops. It was a fine June day, a warm sun filtering through the newly leafed trees and just the right amount of wind to put a gentle ripple on the water. A few sedges were emerging so I switched to a dry fly with some success while the boys were happy to troll wet flies in the hope of getting a big one! While casting the dry fly from an anchored position, I noticed bulging just under the surface near the shore reeds, enough so that I pulled anchor to investigate. What I saw was very bright green damsel nymphs wiggling to the reeds where they would crawl out of the water to shed their nymph casing and after drying out, take off as an acrobatic damsel fly! Close observation revealed a very pronounced "wiggle" as they slowly swam and surprisingly, a very light and bright green colour!

After observing the Hyas Lake damsels, I put some thought into how I would tie a good imitation of the swimming nymph. It had to have good movement so a soft marabou tail would help. Also, the bright colour was a surprise so I added a wide flashabou strip on the top of the body plus eyes that are a bit exaggerated in size, but, what the heck, it works so I will share the pattern with you for our first article of 2009!



Start by tying in a light bright green marabou tail. I often use the same marabou to wrap a fairly thin body next although you can also make the body from chenille if you have the same colour. Prior to the body wrap, I tie in a soft light green saddle hackle tip first just ahead of the tail. After you finish the body, add a wide flat strip of flourescent flashabou on top and using invisible thread as your tying material, you can secure it well without affecting body colour! I now add a set of home constructed eyes. I buy multicolour beads at a craft store and I string two green beads on a piece of heavy nylon fishing line. You can make a tiny barbell with the beads with a butane torch to secure the beads no more than 1/8 inch apart by burning the nylon (on the outside) snugly against the beads. Next, figure eight the eyes just behind the hook eye. The last step is to wrap the saddle hackle hook bend to the eyes as a spaced rib to create the impression of legs by trimming off the top. Tie off, cement and you have finished an irresistible trout fly!

Your comments are welcome at "dhaaheim at telus dot net"

Http:// -- Revised: December 30, 2008
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